Thor is back in Marvel Studios' latest feature film Thor: Love and Thunder. The movie sees Chris Hemsworth's God of Thunder reunited with Dr. Jane Foster, his ex-girlfriend, who has managed to gain control of Thor's old hammer Mjölnir. Thor, Jane, and friends Valkyrie and Korg must team up to stop the being known as Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), who's hellbent on ridding the universe of its gods.
Marvel Studios has been pushing hard for greater diversity and inclusion for the MCU in recent years, and it's been working. The Black-led movie Black Panther has become a global phenomenon that has resonated with audiences and made them feel seen. Likewise, Marvel's first solo film with a female lead, 2019's Captain Marvel, earned over a billion dollars at the box office and gave young girls everywhere a new hero to look up to.
Meanwhile, however, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been lacking in LGBTQ+ representation. They've been making baby steps, through characters like Phastos and America Chavez, but the studio still has a long way to go.
Thankfully, Thor: Love and Thunder may give fans a reason to be excited for the future.
Portman Notes Love and Thunder's LGBTQ+ Vibes
Speaking to Andrew Freund, Thor: Love and Thunder star and Jane Foster actress Natalie Portman had the following exchange, where she acknowledged that the film is "the gayest movie ever made in the MCU.":
Freund: “Natalie, is it safe to say that this is the gayest movie ever made in the MCU?”
Portman: “I love that reading of it, yes. I love that.”
Freund: “I mean… you’re flying on rainbows there… or am I imagining it?”
Portman: “I mean, that is the core of the comics. I feel like that’s where it all started. It’s very true to the source material, I think.”
Portman also spoke on the significance that kids are now dressing up as her character:
“It’s incredible. It’s such a privilege to get to be in that world. And it’s so wonderful also… to be in an era where there’s so many female superheroes that I think girls don’t have to be like, ‘Oh, there’s one girl one and that’s the one I am.’ There’s like so many that they can choose from and relate to based on their personality, or their you know superpowers, or even their weaknesses that like they can figure out who they fit with as a human and not just feel like they have to find their demographic like, you know, alignment.
Additionally, Freund posed the question: If Jane Foster's Thor were to have her own book club, what sort of literature would it feature? The actress responded:
“Maybe some like love poetry. Like some Neruda. I actually spied Chris [Hemsworth] reading some on set one day and I was like, ‘Oh, I feel like that is very in our…’ She’s very romantic, I think. She’s a romantic for sure.”
Portman also revealed what she'd do if she was actually granted the power of Thor: "I’d get rid of all… the people leading wars.”
She also remarked on the plastic version of herself, the action figure that bears her likeness (likely referring to her Marvel Legends figure from Hasbro)
“I didn’t get it sent to me yet, but my daughter went out and bought it one day when she was with her nanny and brought it home and I was like, ’Oh my gosh, this is so…” It was so meaningful to me. She was so excited but she was like, ’It’s you, Mommy! It’s you!"... She was even like looking at it and she was like, ‘They put your birthmark on it.’ And I was like, ’Aw, you noticed.’”
And finally, the Thor 4 star discussed how "powerful" it was seeing herself in her full Thor costume for the movie:
“It’s incredible. I mean, it’s also like it’s a simultaneous feeling of like being very powerful and also like, ‘Look how silly and fun my job is!’ Like I’m at work wearing a cape, like, that’s awesome… and a wig.”
The Mighty Thor Will Arrive Soon
Natalie Portman hasn't appeared in an MCU project as Jane since 2013's Thor: The Dark World. She showed up briefly in Avengers: Endgame, but that was accomplished through using archival footage from Thor: The Dark World and all Portman had to do was record some new snippets of dialogue.
So it's quite meaningful that Portman will reprise her role in Love and Thunder after such a long time. Since it has been so long since Jane has been in a major role, it's been hinted that flashbacks will fill in the gaps in her story, showing how she and Thor initially came to part ways.
As for LGBTQ+ elements in Thor 4, it's been previously noted that Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie is bisexual, which is another step in the right direction, but unfortunately, Thompson herself has said there wasn't much time in the movie to explore Valkyrie's love life.